In July, the new owners of the Columbus Dispatch began talking to staff about the likelihood of cutbacks. Employees approaching retirement age or considering leaving the newspaper were encouraged to accept buyout offers. Essentially, they were told that if they left their job, they might be saving someone else’s. Budgets would be cut and people would be let go. Thursday, the pink slips began going out.
The Dispatch says that while those in the newsroom were spared (for now), others did receive their walking papers. Nearly 70 people were dismissed. We’re told that exiting staffers will be receiving severance pay and job-placement assistance.
This type of staffing plan would have been necessary regardless of who owned the company. In the evolution of this industry from print to delivering news on paper and all manner of electronic devices – including computers, tablets and phones – all news organizations have faced this same challenge and have made similar changes.
– Jim Hopson, Interim Publisher
Staff cuts were reportedly made at the Dispatch, ThisWeek Community Newspapers, and the company’s magazine division. (jj)
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